A Nike flagship store will be opening later this year on the main level of West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton. It will become the largest in Canada to date, surpassing the country’s first flagship Nike store that opened at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in 2021.
The West Edmonton Mall Nike store will boast an expansive frontage in a busy location that leads to a transit interchange. The store is expected to open this winter according to signage. Nike will replace a former Forever 21 location that spanned 22,450 square feet as well as a 3,260 square foot storefront formerly occupied by Volcom and a 2,127 square foot space recently vacated by Kawaii Alley — both have since located elsewhere in the mall. Nike’s West Edmonton Mall location will be very visible from the mall’s ‘Ice Palace’ ice rink.
International firm SAJO is handling the design-build of the new Edmonton store.
Nike’s first Canadian flagship opened in the summer of 2021 at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, spanning more than 24,500 square feet over two levels. Another store is currently under construction at the Montreal Eaton Centre in downtown Montreal that will measure about 20,000 square feet over two levels. More flagships are expected under Israeli licensee Fox Group which is spearheading the Canadian Nike expansion, including a large location set to open soon at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary.
More Nike flagship stores could open in Canada and given the current large-format store trend, and targets could include downtown Toronto and Vancouver. A Toronto store would most likely open either near the intersection of Yonge and Bloor Streets or in/near CF Toronto Eaton Centre, while a Vancouver flagship would likely open either on or near Robson Street, or potentially in part of the former Nordstrom store at CF Pacific Centre if the opportunity is made available by landlord Cadillac Fairview. This is all speculation, however.
Fox Group has also opened smaller, although still sizeable, Nike stores across the country since before the pandemic. These can be found in major shopping centres across the country.
Other brands Fox Group operates in Canada include skincare brand Laline, fashion retailer Mango, home retailer Fox Home, and another retail concept under its ownership umbrella is expected to open in Canada next year. The Mango and Fox Home concepts both launched in Canada this year.
Since before the pandemic, Nike has been cancelling wholesale accounts with retailers globally. Recently some were surprised when Nike re-established retail partnerships with DSW and Macy’s. Many brands now are choosing to focus on direct-to-consumer sales, both in physical stores as well as online. At the same time, companies looking to grow are, in some cases, working with larger retailers in partnerships that involve various parameters.
We’ll follow up on this story when Nike opens its new Edmonton store, as well as when we find out where new flagships will be opening in Canada.